As the leaves fall from the trees, you may notice the distinctive orange fruits of the native persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) hanging in the bare branches, or fallen to the ground around the tree’s base. Gathering fallen fruits is the easiest way to harvest ripe persimmons.

Persimmon bark has a blocky texture sometimes compared to an alligator’s skin. Try to bite the unripe fruit and it will bite you back! But patience will reward you with a soft, sweet, fruit you’ll look forward to every year.
Try out one of these recipes from the Missouri Dept. of Conservation:
-Persimmon Fudge
-Persimmon Cookies
-Four-Layer Persimmon Spice Cake

European settlers in the Ozark region used persimmon seeds to foretell the winter weather. Carefully cutting open the seed will reveal the cotyledon forming inside, which may resemble a spoon, fork, or knife. Spoons are said to predict a snowy winter (lots of shoveling!), knives bitter cold (where the wind cuts you like a knife), and forks a mild winter. Learn more about persimmon predictions here.

Here are three persimmon seeds showing spoons harvested from a tree in north Kansas City. What do your seeds say? Share your persimmon predictions with us!